I finally went and did it and stayed true to my word. I began the Master Cleanse on Tuesday, following a weekend of fun and festivities. It is long overdue as I have felt stagnant and stopped in many ways, the least of being my digestive track. Or maybe the most, without my true knowledge.
I do not know how many readers here are familiar with the Cleanse, it requires a few days (10 is the suggested amount) of drinking this lemon/maple syrup concoction coupled with a salt water flush that is meant to rid your body of toxins and help reset the digestive clock, so to speak. I read many accounts of the experiences of others and had initially planned to try it when the boys were a few months old. That did not happen. But I had the required items in the pantry; sea salt, grade B maple syrup, fresh lemons from an orchard nearby. I finally took the plunge.
It has not been awful, but it sure ain't what I would call fun. The salt water flush is the worst part. You drink 4 cups salt warm water that is intended to flush your intestines etc. of internal, um, stuff. It does. Nuff said.
The lemon drink acts as your daily 'food' and is the agent to cleanse, supposedly. I love the way it tastes, just fresh and sweet (almost too sweet) and you basically drink a glass whenever you get hungry and chase it with some nice cold glasses of water to keep your system hydrated.
It sounds kind of crazy when I write it down. I have never done a cleanse before and thought this sounded the easiest to do, it costs almost nothing and the reports, though varied, seem to be fairly positive. So, as for working? Well, on Day Three, here are some reflections:
- It makes me really appreciate food. Good food. I have some pretty intense cravings to eat. I want veggies and fruit and to try some of the recipes that I have seen linked in other blog entries. I should probably stop looking at recipes. Even the stuff Anthony Bourdain was eating on his program looked good.
- I am less hungry than I thought I would be. I realize the lemonade contains quite a few calories due to the maple syrup content (if you drink recommended amounts, it supplies about 800 calories...in sugar...I know. Sounds crazy. But if you read the 40 page dossier, there are a lot of benefits to maple). I have yet to drink the whole amount recommended, they say 6-8 glasses.
- It also makes me realize just how much (or little) I need to put into my mouth. I am simultaneously reading In Defense of Food by Pollan, wherein he talks on how to eat in this new era of food production. There is a lot to be said for limiting our intake. Might actually be the key to health, not low fat, not high fiber, just less food.
- My skin is clearing up. I usually struggle with severely dry skin, a form of chronic eczema that I have never been able to banish (except when pregnant, ahhh, the glorious pregnancy skin). Today, my skin is less painful and dry and cracked. Hmmm. Nice. And another plus, an absence of body order that has become such an issue since pregnancy ended (let us not lie, it was a bit of an issue before, but after, arrrggg). I use Tom's of Maine, but it does little to help at times. These three days I have yet to use Tom's. Interesting, wouldn't you say?
So, a few more days to go. I do not count on making ten days, aiming for about 5 this time around. There is some debate about whether it helps to do the Cleanse for a few days. I am sure anything that can help us break free, even if just a bit, from the Western diet can have some positive effects. I am doing the Cleanse to reset my system, but not truly sure of any other goals. I plan on changing my eating style post-Cleanse, but we will hold off until that time comes.
Until then, hope all is well in blogland. Been a bit quiet around here in the comments. Would a picture help?
Owen modeling a botched Xmas gift. (Rav) It was meant for an adult male. Whoops. Second one came out better. More on knitting later.
P.S. Katie, I just got a box in the mail. Going to open it now.
Calmer, sweet. Thanks, K. :)